Live in an RV


By Patrick   Follow   Mon, 1 Oct 2012, 4:29pm   2,590 views   21 comments
In Menlo Park CA 94025   Watch (2)   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

RV living has real mobility and cost advantages if you don't need a place that's fixed to the ground. Very common among the newly-retired.

Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition

Don't like RV's? How about living on a cruise ship? (Hat tip to New Renter)

More alternatives to mortgage debt

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  1. pkennedy


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    1   4:35pm Mon 1 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    RV's are massively expensive, used are better but they still depreciate insanely quickly and also have many items that simply age very quickly.

    They get 6-12mpg which used to be not so bad, until gas prices took off. If you're a snow bird, it's going to cost about $2000 to move the thing to where it's sunny, just in gas.

    Most RV places charge an arm and leg for nightly stays, $30-60/night. They become more competitive when you get monthly rates.

    With todays internet hotel deals, you can score a good hotel for $60/night at a nice destination, fly in for less than that and rent a car. Or find a house to rent short term and just fly in there.

  2. New Renter


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    2   4:41pm Mon 1 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    It can be a nice way of life for some, provided the retirees retain their ability to drive safely.

    I also like the idea of living aboard a gambling or cruse ship. It'd be nicer than retiring to Vegas.

  3. dublin hillz


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    3   4:42pm Mon 1 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Can I park it in the office parking lot? How does the sewage disposal work?

  4. New Renter


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    4   4:46pm Mon 1 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    pkennedy says

    They get 6-12mpg which used to be not so bad, until gas prices took off. If you're a snow bird, it's going to cost about $2000 to move the thing to where it's sunny, just in gas.

    Convert the behemoth to a pilot diesel NG engine. The fuel costs drop to almost half.

    While we're fantasizing about the perfect RV I'd love it if those damn things would use a super quiet NG fuel cell rather than a #@$^#%@ noisy ass gas generator. I can't stand it when some jerk fires up their generator at 5AM.

  5. Patrick


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    5   4:49pm Mon 1 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    New Renter says

    I also like the idea of living aboard a gambling or cruse ship.

    Do they offer that? I hadn't heard about it.

  6. New Renter


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    6   4:50pm Mon 1 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    dublin hillz says

    Can I park it in the office parking lot? How does the sewage disposal work?

    Depends on the CEO and your office park rules. It has been known to be an effective solution for employees who work in the SFBA but live somewhere far away. The company will sometimes let the RV'r tap into the electrical system too. As for waste I'm sure a creative solution can be found...

  7. New Renter


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    7   4:53pm Mon 1 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Patrick says

    New Renter says

    I also like the idea of living aboard a gambling or cruse ship.

    Do they offer that? I hadn't heard about it.

    There are stories of such things happening:

    http://www.snopes.com/travel/trap/retire.asp

    http://realestate.msn.com/ahoy-whats-it-like-to-live-on-a-cruise-ship-full-time#4

    I think I first heard of this here on PatNet.

  8. Patrick


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    8   5:41pm Mon 1 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    I like it! Cruise ships added to discussion topic as alternative.

  9. Dan8267


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    9   5:49pm Mon 1 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Patrick says

    How about living on a cruise ship?

    I can't image that being cheap. Any site that posts rates?

    Plus it's only an option if you don't have to work for a living in which case there are plenty of places on land that are cheap to move to and are still very nice.

    Of course, I'd have been glad to live in a van with Jewel Kilcher when she was 20.

  10. LarryPatrickMaloney


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    10   7:26pm Mon 1 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Patrick,

    Funny you should post this, and frankly I agree....

    The funny part is, that I live in Mountain View, and since the bubble I've seen more and more homleess with their RV's parked in inconspicuous spots around town....

    Lately I've notice a change, not only are their more RV's, but instead of the junky 30+ year old vehicles, I'm seeing shiny NEW motor homes, that look like they belong to a wealthy owner. I'm going to guess, cause I don't know for sure, but I bet these are prior home owners, that have abandoned the mortgage to live in their RV.

    I'll investigate to confirm this hunch!

  11. Biff Baxter


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    11   7:41pm Mon 1 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Is there a blue stripe on her sweater or am I going blind (like from staring at the sun)?

    Biff

  12. New Renter


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    12   7:52am Tue 2 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Biff Baxter says

    Is there a blue stripe on her sweater or am I going blind (like from staring at the sun)?

    Biff

    You're not going blind. That's the strain gauge. What you do from here on out - now THAT might make you blind :P

  13. C Boy


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    13   9:54am Tue 2 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Patrick says

    New Renter says

    I also like the idea of living aboard a gambling or cruse ship.

    Do they offer that? I hadn't heard about it.

    My sister just got back from a trip on the QEII. She said there were plenty of old biddys who were signed up for the 13 month around the world trip and probably would never leave the ship.

    She told me to take some dance classes and I could probably find someone to pay my way to just be thier dance partner every evening.

  14. C Boy


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    14   9:55am Tue 2 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Awesome pict by the way.

  15. EBGuy


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    15   2:31pm Tue 2 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Many parts of Ess Eff are now off limits for this lifestyle option: after Tuesday's final vote at the Board of Supervisors it will no longer be legal to live in an RV on the street between midnight and 6 a.m. in designated areas.

  16. everything


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    16   2:47pm Tue 2 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    The homeless guys who drive RV's in my area drive them only around the block every other day to scuttle the street parking regulations. They park them near where they work and use a bicycle to go get food, supplies, and use the bathroom or shower at the homeless shelter or wherever.

    I was looking at RV campsites up in Seward Alaska a few years back and was surprised how cheap they were, but you don't always know hidden costs like pumping your sewage, electricity hookup, etc. until you ask further.

    Do you want to travel in retirement?, and are still willing to work 40 hours a week doing easy temp work? Check out this website, not a shill for it or anything but it's www.coolworks.com

    Friends of mine have a trailer at a semi-permanent campsite place and it's only $1600 lot rent per year with sewer hookup that is up and running between April and October, during winter no sewer hook up but you can still pay your electricity, stay in your trailer and use the bathrooms they have at the campground. I'm not sure what they would say if you were living in the campground full time though.

    All vehicles cost a small fortune to maintain, insure, and drive. Campsites are usually $10-20 nightly at the cheapest. The cheapest way to live is to just get cheap land, a cheap sewer and well, and put a small trailer on it. I've also noticed that around where I live you can buy a used trailer at a trailer park for usually 5-10K and that's a pretty cheap way to live as well. I've considered it as one way to speed up retirement investments, but I think living with a roommates can be fairly cheap as well.

  17. freak80


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    17   2:55pm Tue 2 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    dublin hillz says

    Can I park it in the office parking lot? How does the sewage disposal work?

  18. New Renter


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    18   8:42pm Tue 2 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    C Boy says

    Awesome pict by the way.

    Thanks. Its from a statement made by one of the physicists who discovered the Higgs Boson:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/04/us-science-higgs-idUSBRE86008K20120704


    Oliver Buchmueller, a senior physicist on one of the research teams, told Reuters.

    "If I were a betting man, I would bet that it is the Higgs. But we can't say that definitely yet. It is very much a smoking duck that walks and quacks like the Higgs. But we now have to open it up and look inside before we can say that it is indeed the Higgs."

    Or were you talking about the one with the strain gauge?

  19. Erikintx


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    19   10:38am Tue 9 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Sewage dumping actually isn't hard. There are quite a few free dump sites around including a few interstate rest areas. A lot of commercial RV parks or even some Love's fuel stations along the interstates have a $10 dump fee. You can also buy a macerator pump that reduces the waste to small pieces and pumps it through a garden hose so you can route it to the cleanout in your own yard or even through a bathroom window into the toilet. Your standard RV toilets use almost no water to flush, and you learn to wet, turn water off, soap up, then rinse. Short but effective showers mean you can go for days or longer without filling the holding tanks. There are even portable trailer style external dump tanks. You empty your stationary RV's holding tanks into the trailer, and tow the trailer to the dump station.

    When we left Oregon we didn't know where we'd be moving to full time and bought a used class A (bus) RV. My wife and two kids (9 and 3 at the time) traveled around CA visiting friends all over the state, going on job interviews, and having a good time. Eventually settled on a new job in TX and bought a house there (a mistake as we moved less than year later).

    RVs are maintenance hogs, but otherwise not a bad way to live. We bought ours for $22.5K (a '93 luxury coach class A diesel pusher). Add in maintenance and a couple $500 tires (replaced the front tires for good measure, not flats). It's probably worth $15-$20K now because I tore off the back bumper not looking where I was backing up etc. Still, we take it on road trips for holidays to family so we have our own bedroom and bathroom. It gives us a private retreat in a holiday situation filled with family. Having used that RV as our primary home for a few months we are very fond of it. If you have a full size pickup I would recommend a 5th wheel. We just got the Class A DP because we we didn't have a pickup and were towing a Honda.

    It's not a bad way to live. I keep meaning to find a local bit of land and turn our RV into a rental but haven't gotten around to it. :-) It's also a bit of insurance in case you're of a TEOTWAWKI/SHTF mentality. It's got it's own water storage, filtration, and electrical generation (solar and diesel generator). Out here in TX they make great deer camps too.

  20. gbenson


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    20   11:50am Tue 9 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    My dad and his wife did the RV thing for a few years after retirement. I think living 20 feet from a bunch of weekend warriors all the time wore them down and they finally bought a place in Florida. We had a trailer for awhile and frankly, I couldn't stand it. Campgrounds pack you in so tight now its like living in a parking lot.

  21. edvard2


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    21   12:40pm Tue 9 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    I grew up with campers since my folks seemed to get a newer/bigger one about every 5-6 years. Truth be known they're a BIG pain in the ass. They're fun to live in for maybe 2-3 days then reality sinks in that you're living in a tiny cramped space with cheapy-cheap plastic appliances and a bathroom the begins to reek in a few days. Most of these are made out of cheap fiberboard and sheetmetal and begin to deteriorate almost immediately. If the roof leaks, forget it: The floor will quickly rot out.

    Lastly, it cant be understated that you'll probably need some sort of huge gas or diesel-guzzling vehicle to pull it or whatever and given that gas was over $5 a gallon recently... that can make driving them anywhere extremely expensive.

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